story of this pernicious drug and how it is destroying lives.
I wrote last summer of the remarks of a business person in my small hometown when she said she couldn’t find a good worker “because everyone here is stoned.”
In her frustration, I wrote, she may have overstated the reality of methamphetamine abuse, but not by much. Later, stories began to appear confirming widespread social problems associated with meth. A dental condition known as “meth mouth” was identified by dentist in small towns throughout the midwest. County sheriffs in Tennessee found that they could not stay ahead of the cleanup required after they raided home-based meth labs. Human service agencies were over-run with children removed from meth-destroyed families.
PBS’s Frontline documentary, The Meth Epidemic, tells this story and much more, including the slow recognition by federal drug officials that the abuse of meth was an epidemic long before they began to address it.
The documentary, which ran Tuesday night on PBS, will be available online Wednesday evening as part of an online chat with the film’s producer.
Meth has become a global problem. It is pernicious because it’s highly addictive and it’s especially ravaging as the drug of choice for low income persons. The drug destroys individuals and families, it wreaks havoc on local economies and increases the crime rate in small towns.
For those of us from small-town and working class families, it’s a menace that threatens the most valuable assets we know, our families and our jobs.